The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) recently launched a portal where facility-management (FM) professionals can go to pool knowledge and best practices and engage with individuals and organizations concerning the Internet of Things (IoT).
IFMA has created an IoT task force to ascertain the best way for FM professionals to utilize the vast potential of billions of interconnected physical objects (things).
“The Internet of Things will soon completely change how people interact with their environment and with buildings,” Eric Teicholz, IFMA Fellow, an associate professor emeritus at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and the author/editor of 13 books on technology, who chairs the Strategic Advisory Group for IFMA’s Environmental Stewardship, Utilities and Sustainability Community and co-chairs the new Internet of Things initiative, said. “Making sense of the vast amount of information produced by the IoT and then turning that into useful action is the challenge we face. That’s why this task force was created, and it’s the purpose of the IoT portal.”
By 2025, industry experts say, there may be as many as 1 trillion building sensors, or about 120 per living person, in place. Effectively utilized, the insights offered by the IoT promise to enable huge strides toward making buildings more efficient, more sustainable, and more responsive to the needs of the people who live and work in them.
Changing expectations for the built environment have made the role of the facility manager more strategically important than ever before. Around the world, smart buildings are suffering from a performance gap between expected and actual results. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors noted in its publication “Sustainable Construction: Realizing the Opportunities for Built Environment Professionals”: “There is substantial evidence that buildings do not perform as well as anticipated at the design stage. Post-occupancy evaluations showed that actual energy consumption in buildings was often twice as much as predicted.”
Those interested in participating in the IFMA IoT portal should send their contact information to [email protected]. IFMA’s IoT Task Force is co-chaired by Teicholz, along with Kate North and Kate Turnbull of IFMA’s Workplace Evolutionaries Community.